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Daily Dose: Firefox Drops Version Numbers

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Today, Mozilla's community coordinator Asa Dotzler announced that future Firefox users will not be shown their browser's version number. Despite complaints and outcry from the community, Mozilla believes that this motion only gets rid of a feature that users do not care about. Instead of seeing a version number, Firefox will present a message that reads "You are running the latest version."  Dave Garrett, a Firefox Add-On developer, commented

"Even my mother knows this is where you look up what version of a program you're using. You're going up against established UX that spans much time and across OSes".

Sonatype Adds Java.net Projects Support

Sonatype, the company behind some of the most widely used tools in Java Development including Maven, announced a partnership with Oracle to bring Java.net projects to the "Central Repository". The move allows Java.net project owners to "easily automate and control synchronization of their Java.net project artifacts." The partnership aims to give development teams "faster builds, fewer integration problems and improved control of software component usage."

OpenLogic Jumps on the PaaS Bandwagon with CloudSwing

As if the PaaS market wasn't getting crowded enough, OpenLogic announced their take on Platform as a Service today with CloudSwing. The company just landed $2 million for their take on a PaaS, which will include support for LAMP, Nginix, Rails, Node.js, and Tomcat. CloudSwing also support several types of infrastructure clouds including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and Windows Azure.

Google Moves Android App Inventor

As part of a movement to streamline its operations, Google announced that it will be shutting down Google Labs last week. Along with Google Labs went the Android App Inventor, an easy-to-use application creator for their Android platform with over 100,000 users. Instead of using a specific language, the App Inventor opted for a GUI-based programming interface aimed at non-developers. It seems that the project is not completely dead, however. The project will be moved to the MIT Center for Mobile Learning, where the inventor of the application Hal Abelson will continue running the project.

Griffon 0.9.3 released

Thanks to aalmiray for today's top link!


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Published at DZone with permission of its author, Ross Jernigan.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Sebastian Mueller replied on Wed, 2011/08/17 - 3:09am

Re Firefox dropping version number display:

This would mean removing the last "easy" reliable way of knowing whether Firefox is up to date. At least on Windows 7 (and Vista), I have yet to see a firefox installation that 

a) Automatically updates itself


b) at least tells me that it's up to date or not up to date (some versions ago this worked for the very first time, it detected that it was out of date, in the current version even this is broken)


c) after it has detected that an update could be downloaded and the update was applied it (in versions where this worked at least), it will not constantly offer the option to install that update that has just been downloaded (even if the current version is a lot newer than the update that had been downloaded) - of course accepting the option of applying the update does not work at all but just restarts the browser.

 Note that most of the above will only happen in the "rare" case where you are not running with administrator rights. As I said, since I guess firefox 3.0 everything related to autoupdate on Windows is broken.

Dear Firefox developers (and Thunderbird developers for which all of the above applies as well): Feel free to remove the version number display, but *first* make auto update actually work. 


Sorry for the rant but I find the current situation ridiculous for a software that claims be more secure than others however does not have the ability to update automatically to the most recent and most secure versions. The last time I checked the PCs of my coworkers only one out of ten PCs had an up to date Firefox version, some of the installations where more than 10 security releases behind! Also if you know of a way to make autoupdate or at least notification work on Windows, please post here.

Dominique De Vito replied on Wed, 2011/08/17 - 4:23am

The current situation (fast increase of the major digit of the version numbers) was ridiculous.

The next proposal (dropping the version numbers) is also ridiculous: version numbers are so pervasive that they are user-friendly and help to know when you are up-to-date even if you are beyond a proxy, or not connected.

So, do we need to wait for yet another Mozilla proposal ?


Chris Arthur replied on Wed, 2011/08/17 - 8:08am

Firefox not showing the version number is a guarantee that no business will ever use it again because it becomes a tech support nightmare. "Hey that latest version 3 versions ago had a flaw and you tell whether or not they have that one by consulting with the forest gods and sending an email to the Oracle at Delphi." Do they think about this stuff or just do what they suppose is cool?

John Waterwood replied on Thu, 2011/08/18 - 3:01am in response to: Chris Arthur

Maybe they are following Apple's lead here: just impress, awe & shock by suddenly removing some often used thing?

Jose Jeria replied on Thu, 2011/08/18 - 3:39am in response to: Chris Arthur

You will still be able to see the version number by navigating to "Troubleshoot information" in the Help menu.

Max Katz replied on Wed, 2011/08/17 - 1:42pm

Re: Google Moves Android App Inventor

Another tool you can try is Tiggr. Tiggr is a Web-based IDE for building mobile web and native apps. You are no limited to just Android. Here is how it works. You prototype and build the UI with jQuery Mobile components, define and map services, then test the app right in the browser. To get a native app, we use PhoneGap library. http://gotiggr.com

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